Well, here we are on the 53rd day of January. Raise your hand if you’re still slaying your New Year’s Resolutions.
*hides under kitchen table*
Let me be honest with you. This month almost broke me. I almost called 2019 a wash before it really even began. If you watch TV, listen to the radio, or are active on social media, surely you’ve been bombarded with just as much “Crush! Kill! Slay! Better! More!” as I have. I’m over it. Don’t get me wrong. I am all about challenging myself and working towards realistic goals but the pressure of the new year can paralyze me. I shared a bit on Instagram about why I chose not to make a resolution.
Business educators and influencers use this time of year to their advantage. As they should. It works. But, it’s also a dangerous narrative. “Be Better” can begin to sound like “You’re Not Enough”. If you’re like me, the awareness of all the places you could be doing better is really just a reminder of all the places you’re falling short. The reality is, we can always do better. But, this room for growth does not negate how enough you are right now. Hey! You! Yes, you.
I’ve thought deeply – too deeply maybe – about this over the past several weeks and this is what I know: I do not want to contribute to this narrative. Yes, my life and home and family are beautiful. Yes, I live in my dream city, run my business with intentionality, and provide for my family. But none of these good things exist without a healthy dose of hard truth, confusion, pain, or doubt. To prove it (and hopefully dismantle the perception that people you follow on social media have it all together) I present to you:
What You See vs. What You Don’t …
What You See: My bright and newly-decorated home.
What You Don’t See: The gutters are falling off, the roof and vinyl siding need to be replaced, and there’s an unsightly chain link fence out back that we can’t afford to touch right now. The bank owns it all.
What You See: A successful design business.
What You Don’t See: I consistently question the meaning of my work and if design is really the mark I want to leave on the world.
What You See: The luxury of working “part time” from home.
What You Don’t See: I frantically attempt to cram my to-do list into 8 hours while also remembering to pump and eat more than a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I work 40+ hours a week – often from my bed at 11pm – and wrestle with the weird dichotomy between pride that I’m modeling hard work for my daughter and guilt that I have inadvertently prioritized it over her.
What You See: My surprisingly thin postpartum waist in skinny jeans.
What You Don’t See: I work hard at the gym but still pour my new boobs into my bra and wonder if they’ll ever be the same again.
What You See: My closet of cute clothes.
What You Don’t See: I rarely wear real pants. I’m forever on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans but I wear gray joggers most days.
What You See: An exciting life in a bustling city.
What You Don’t See: We very much feel the guilt of moving so far from our families. It’s worth it, but – like all good things – there is a flip side.
So. In the spirit of solidarity, I want to give you permission to not have it all together. Here it is. Are you ready?
It’s okay that your thighs touch.
It’s okay that you’re not debt free.
It’s okay that your kids wear hand-me-downs.
It’s okay that your creative business doesn’t pay the bills.
It’s okay that your feed is only blurry pictures of your dog.
It’s okay that you haven’t found your life partner.
It’s okay that you don’t buy organic produce.
It’s okay that don’t have a savings account.
It’s okay that you don’t like avocado toast or coffee or the word “authentic”.
It’s okay that you didn’t go to college.
It’s okay that you never update your phone.
It’s okay that you don’t use the latest vegan, paraben-free, something-or-another.
It’s okay that you don’t make your bed.
It’s okay that you kill all your house plants.
It’s okay that you secretly use boxed hair color.
It’s okay that you do not find Tidying Up to be Life-Changing or Magical.
IT’S. O. KAY.
There it is, folks. A list of things that, whether or not they apply to you, do not define you. Hoping hoping hoping you feel just a little more free from the unnecessary pressure to be good at everything.